Ulla Westerberg



The aim of the research presented in this paper has been to investigate habits and attitudes related to climate and outdoor activity, and to discuss the significance of climate in relation to a social and physical environment that becomes more and more urban. The context is the Nordic city and the Nordic climate and weather. Some results from a survey and field studies in urban public spaces in two cities are presented, i.e. results from mailed questionnaires on habits and attitudes related to climate and weather, on-site interviews on perceived climate and environment, observed activities and climate measurements. The everyday routines of urban life include very little time outdoors, but it varies much by season and weather. The demands for comfort in general rise, and they imply a climatically pleasant environment. The importance of small-scale building and green qualities increases by latitude.


Public spaces; urban microclimate; outdoor activity; culture; climate; behavior

Full Text:



Berglund, U. (1996). Perspektiv på stadens natur. Dissertation at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.

Carlestam, G. (1968). Studier av utomhusaktiviteter med automatisk kamera. (Studies of outdoor activities with an automatic camera..) Rapport från byggforskningen, Stockholm, Sweden.

Cooper, G. (2002). Air-conditioning America. Johns Hopkins U.P., UK

Daun, Å. (1989). Svensk mentalitet. (Swedish mentality.) Rabén & Sjögren.

Gehl, J. (1971). Livet mellem husene, Köpenhamn. (Life between buildings, using public spaces, Arkitektens forlag, 1996).

Grahn, P. and Stigsdotter, U.A., (2003). Landscape planning and stress. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 2:001-018

Huntington E. (1935). Civilization and Climate. 3rd edition, New Haven, CT, USA.

Höppe, P., Seidl, H.A.J., (1991). Problems in assessment of the bioclimate for vacationists at the seaside. International Journal of Biometeorology 35, 107-110.

Kaplan, R. (1983). The role of nature in the urban context. Altman, Wohlwill (red) Behavior and Environment, Vol IV, Behavior and the natural environment, Plenum press, USA.

Knez, I., Thorsson, S., (2005). Influence of culture and environmental attitude on thermal, emotional and perceptual evaluations of a square. Submitted to International Journal of Biometeorology. Montesquieu, 1757, ‘L’esprit des Lois”. Translated to Swedish by Strömholm, S. (1990)

Nikolopoulou, M., Steemers, K., (2003). Thermal comfort and psychological adaption as a guide for designing urban spaces. Energy and buildings, 35, 95-101.

Nikolopoulou, M., Lykoudis, S. (2005). Thermal comfort in outdoor spaces: Analysis across different European countries.

Statistics Sweden. Tidsundersökningen (2000/01)

Steadman, R.G., (1971). Indices of windchill of clothed persons. Journal of Applied Meteorology 10, 674-683.

Steadman, R.G., (1979). The assessment of sultriness, part I. A temperature-humidity index based on human physiology and clothing science. Journal of Applied Meteorology 18, 861-873.

Stehr, N. & Storch, H. (1995). The social construct of climate and climate change. Climate research Vol.5:99-105,1995.

Storch, H. & Stehr , N. (1997). Climate research: The case for the social sciences. Ambio Vol. 26 No 1, Feb 1997.

Westerberg, U., Glaumann, M. (1990). Design Criteria for solar access and wind shelter in the outdoor environment. Energy and buildings 1990/91. 15 – 16, 425 – 431.

Westerberg, U. (1994). Climatic planning: Physics or Symbolism. Architecture & Behaviour, Vol 10, nr 1. Wiklund, T. 1995. “Det tillgjorda landskapet”. Bokförlaget Korpen.

Zacharias, J., Stathopoulos, T., Wu, H., (2001). Microclimate and downtown open space activity, Environment and Behaviour, 33, 296-315.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, CNKI, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier, Web of Science.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY--NC-ND license, see

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2018


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014